FedEx plans hires
FedEx Corp., operator of the world’s largest cargo airline, plans to hire more temporary workers than last year during the peak holiday season amid increased customer demand.
FedEx hired about 20,000 seasonal workers in 2012 and expects to add more this year, said Parul Bajaj, a spokesman for the Memphis-based company. The company will also increase hours for its 300,000 existing employees.
FedEx beat profit estimates in its most recent quarter after cutting air capacity to Asia and moving lower priority packages to cheaper transportation methods, such as ocean shipping.
AOL, ESPN reach deal
AOL Inc., the owner of the Huffington Post and TechCrunch, signed a syndication agreement with Walt Disney Co.’s ESPN cable network in a bid for a bigger foothold in video advertising.
ESPN will grant AOL syndication rights and join the digital publisher’s online video-programming network that already includes the Wall Street Journal, Sports Illustrated and 1,700 other publishers.
AOL Chief Executive Officer Tim Armstrong is seeking to transform the company into a content publisher driven by advertising. Online video commands higher ad rates than traditional Web placements, and marketers are increasingly looking for more outlets to run promotions. Spending on digital-video ads is projected to increase 41 percent to $4.09 billion in the U.S. this year, according to EMarketer Inc.
“Advertisers tell us there isn’t enough quality inventory, and we’re working fast to deliver that,” said Ran Harnevo, the head of AOL’s video unit. What sets AOL apart from other digital-video networks is its “high-quality” content, he said.
As part of the agreement, ESPN can sell short commercials that run at the start of each video clip, with both AOL and ESPN sharing in the revenue. Publishers participating in AOL’s network can feature ESPN’s video content on their sites also receive a cut of any advertising buys. AOL’s ad business makes up more than two-thirds of sales, and its video network had 71.2 million viewers in August, second to Google Inc.’s 167 million, according to ComScore Inc. AOL’s video audience is less than half of Google’s, underscoring the need to boost available video content.
The company’s video strategy has become more important as it cuts back on other content initiatives. It recently faced setbacks with its hyper-local news service called Patch. The company eliminated about 500 positions and said in August it could shutter as many as 20 percent of its more than 900 Patch websites.
— Bloomberg News